Friday, June 12, 2015

Clemence-esque Skirt


I bought this beautiful pre-cut length of Thai-style printed cotton (plus 5 more in different colors!) at Bangkok's Chatuchak market earlier this year and have been struggling to make it into something since then. I really wanted to make a dress, but the length of my piece plus the deep border print made it really hard to fit the pattern pieces. I must have tried laying 5 or 6 different sleeveless dress patterns over this fabric, but couldn't make one work. In the end, I decided to make a simple gathered midi skirt to really showcase the cool gold foil-y print.


 My gathered skirt is loosely based on the Clemence skirt in Tilly's "Love at First Stitch" book. 


Rather than cut the skirt in three pieces, I made the skirt with one piece that ran the length of my fabric (about 2 yards total) since the border print is along the selvage. I cut it to the length I wanted, plus about 2.5 inches. I cut the waistband to my measurements (plus seam allowances, of course) and then followed Tilly's instructions for attaching the waistband and inserting the invisible zipper.


My invisible zipper is not perfect. For some reason it always shows at the waistband seamline, even if it's invisible elsewhere. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you solve it?


I was also quite chuffed that my new skirt goes perfectly with this blue and gold necklace I made several years back to attend a wedding. It hasn't gotten much wear since then, but it is great with this skirt.


27 comments:

  1. I also have the problem with the waist of the invisible zipper. Looking forwards to the comments of this.

    Loving the fabric :-)

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, I'm not sure what the issue is- the waistband always matches up, but the zipper always shows just for a couple centimeters right at the seam.

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    2. just noticed the same sort of problem on by hand london's latest tutorial: http://byhandlondon.com/blogs/by-hand-london/33640644-how-to-sew-a-two-tier-gathered-skirt

      There's a shot near the end of the zipper, and you can see the little gap.

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    3. That's so funny- I looked at their tutorial and noticed it, too! I thought "At least I'm not the only one"

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  2. This is beautiful. And it does match perfectly with your necklace. I can't help with the zip I am afraid I usually do lapped or centre zippers!

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    1. Thanks, Louis! I should learn how to do lapped zippers so I can avoid this!

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  3. This is beautiful. And it does match perfectly with your necklace. I can't help with the zip I am afraid I usually do lapped or centre zippers!

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  4. What a great skirt for showing off this fabric! I avoid problems with invisible zippers by using lapped and fly front applications most of the time. ;) I don't know, if it's peeking through, I'd guess that the needle isn't getting as close to the teeth at the top. I try and press my invisible zips and that always seems to help too...unpressed ones will roll up ever so slightly and cause the invisible zip foot to be just a hair off of truly invisible.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. Lapped zips it is. I definitely pressed the zip and it's invisible everywhere except for a couple centimeters by the seam where the waistband and skirt meet.

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  5. LOVE this outfit. That skirt is fucking fantastic, and I love how you styled it. Side note--that fabric would look so cool as bedsheets! They need to make that!

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    1. Thanks, Nicole!! Isn't this fabric cool? It's just printed cotton, though, and a little bit stiff, so it wouldn't do for bedsheets. But I'll inform the powers that be here that they should work on a sheet format ;-)

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  6. Your skirt is gorgeous!! I love that fabric. A simple skirt is the perfect use for it.

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    1. Thanks, Teri! That's what I thought, too!

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  7. Aaaahhhhh! That fabric is gorgeous!!!! And this gathered skirt is the perfect use for it. I had the same issue with the invisible zip on a self-drafted skirt I made, and the zipper was cream so it showed up against the blue fabric of the skirt, so when I went back recently and redid the waistband (which I drafted sooner after having Maggie and it was too big), I decided to do a tab and button at the waist, with the invisible zipper ending below that. That solution worked well, but I don't have thoughts on fixing the zip issue - I think the waistband tends to be under a lot more strain and pulling, so it makes sense that it doesn't want to be "invisible" there. It would probably be best to pick a zipper that matched really well and leave it at that.

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    1. Thanks, Inder! Yep, my zip in this skirt is black, so it's not awful that you can see a little bit of it, but next time I make a skirt like this I'll try something else- maybe a lapped zip, maybe a tab like you suggest.

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  8. This is so pretty! Great use of the border print too!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! Border prints are tough, aren't they!

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  9. Seriously beautiful. Perfect use of the fabric!

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    1. Thanks, Masha! I felt I had to let the fabric speak for itself!

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  10. Wowsa!! That is a fecking delicious outfit.. I love it... Skirt and necklace! Beautiful make. X

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! I'm so happy the skirt and necklace came together so well!

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  11. Ooh, I love your whole outfit, especially your necklace! It's so pretty and dramatic!

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    1. Thanks, Alli! I was so happy to find something to wear this necklace with... it was a bit too dramatic for other parts of my wardrobe!

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  12. As far as dress patterns, why not pick one where the border print can be used on the skirt or sleeves with a coordinating "solid" on the bodice?
    The Slapdash Sewist has done a couple of border print dressed. You can see her flickr photo group "sewyerown". Just scrolling thru a couple of pages got me to Butterick 5495 where she she used the border on the sleeves and the skirt. She's done a couple of others too.

    The necklace is perfect with your skirt. Glad it's being used to such great effect.

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    1. Thanks, Kathy! I'll check out those border print dresses. The problem here was the border print plus a short length of fabric- deadly combo! I couldn't cover my butt and still get a bodice ;-)

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  13. Amazing fabric and great outfit, the perfect solution for the border print. Have you tried re-stitching the zip at the waistband and making sure the stitching is as close as possible to the zipper teeth?I sometimes stitch an invisible zip twice, once to get the position right, then nice and close to the zip teeth.

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    1. That's a great idea! Maybe I'll give it a try.

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